QUOTE(Lemontree @ Sep 7 2010, 08:02 AM)
I wonder if anyone of you ever have played in an ABRSM exam from memory.
I find myself in a situation were I very much like to go for a distinction in my exams. However, they are also the best testing ground for nerves and daring. Lately, I find that an exam piece of mine is almost completely in my memory, especially since my need for getting the 3rd 8va clear needed a visual on the voice tuner which let to me looking at the voice tuner instead of the music sheet.
Now, I very much wonder, if I should try to play it from memory it in the exam. It would be a stressful situation. Just like a public performance is. I would have the music sheet with me in case I have a change in mind in the last second. But if I succeed, it would boost my confidence playing from memory in public considerately.
Has one of you ever done this? How did it go? Has someone had a change of heart in the end and played from the music sheet instead?
Oh, by the way, it would be my solo piece.
Long ago, back in prehistoric times I played the pieces for all my grade exams, from grade 5 to grade 8, from memory. Nowadays I am much more nervous and less trustful of memory, and have often put the scores on the music stand when I play for anyone. But that can be a mistake. Recent experience has taught me that when I can play a piece from memory, and habitually do so, then to play from the score actually makes me more likely to go wrong. What happens is that you forget to follow the score, charge ahead from memory, make a small mistake, then stumble when you can't find your place.
So what I would say is that if you have a piece you normally play from memory, and if you want to use a score for "Security" make sure to spend plenty of extra time in preparation, establishing the habit of actually following the score as you play.
Alternatively, find the confidence to play from memory.
But don't try some random mix of the two. It can be a disaster.